Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

SIMMONS v. UNITED STATES

March 27, 1964

LESLIE MELVIN SIMMONS, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Miller, Chief Judge.

The petitioner was arrested April 3, 1962, upon a warrant issued by the United States Commissioner based upon the complaint of FBI Agent John W. Martin charging the movant with transporting in interstate commerce from San Fernando, California, to Prescott, Arkansas, a certain 1958 Chevrolet station wagon, the property of Brian F. Milne, knowing said motor vehicle to have been stolen. On the same day he was taken before the United States Commissioner in the Texarkana Division, and after having been informed by the Commissioner of the charge against him and his right to have counsel, he waived a preliminary examination and was held to await the action of the Grand Jury. His bond was fixed at $1,000, which he was unable to furnish, and he was committed to jail.

He advised the Probation Officer that he did not desire to waive the return of an indictment, and accordingly the charge was submitted to a Grand Jury, which returned an indictment on May 22, 1962, charging that the movant, on or about March 30, 1962, "transported in interstate commerce from San Fernando, California, to Prescott, Arkansas, a certain motor vehicle, to-wit, a 1958 Chevrolet station wagon, bearing vehicle identification number B58L114280, the property of Brian F. Milne, 14500 San Jose, San Fernando, California, knowing the same to have been stolen in violation of 18 U.S.C.A. 2312."

On August 28, 1962, the movant was brought before the court by the United States Marshal for arraignment upon the indictment. The movant was not represented by counsel, and after being fully advised of his rights to counsel at all times during the proceedings, and that if he were unable to employ an attorney, that the court would appoint an attorney to represent him, the movant stated in open court that he did not desire the services of an attorney and requested the court to dispose of the case at once. The court then proceeded to read and explain the charge in the indictment, and after being fully advised by the court of his rights and the possible consequences of a plea of guilty or conviction, the movant entered a plea of guilty. In accordance with the request of the movant that the case be disposed of promptly, the movant was held in hold-over room until action could be taken on a subsequent charge of escape upon which movant had been held by the Commissioner.

On August 23, 1962, the movant was arrested by Deputy United States Marshal Bob McCrary upon the warrant for escape, and was taken before the United States Commissioner, where he was informed of the complaint and the charge contained therein and of his right to counsel. Whereupon the movant waived preliminary hearing upon the charge and was held by the United States Commissioner for action by the Grand Jury. Bond was fixed at $3,000. The Grand Jury for the Western District of Arkansas was not in session and was not scheduled to convene for some weeks, or possibly months. The movant was advised by the court that the charge of violating 18 U.S.C. § 751 was pending, after he had entered a plea of guilty to the charge contained in Criminal Action No. 4513, and that if he desired, he could waive the return of an indictment and that the charge would be prosecuted upon an information. Whereupon the movant in open court on August 28, 1962, executed his waiver of indictment in the following terms:

  "United States of America,
            v.
  Leslie Melvin Simmons.
    "Leslie Melvin Simmons, the above named
  defendant, who is accused of violating 18 U.S.C. § 751
  in that he did escape from the custody of the
  United States Marshal for the Western District of
  Arkansas while being incarcerated in the Miller
  County Jail, Texarkana, Arkansas, having been
  committed and awaiting process issued under the
  laws of the United States, being advised of the
  nature of the charge and of his rights, hereby
  waives in open court prosecution by indictment
  and consents that the proceeding may be by
  information instead of by indictment."

Upon the execution of the waiver of indictment and the consent to be prosecuted by information, the information was filed as Criminal Action No. 4524, United States v. Simmons. The petitioner was not represented by counsel, and after being advised of his right to counsel, and that the court would appoint counsel to represent him if he desired, the movant stated that he did not desire the services of an attorney and requested that the case be disposed of at that time. After being fully advised of the charge against him and the consequences of a plea of guilty or conviction, the petitioner entered a plea of guilty.

In compliance with the request of the petitioner made in Criminal Action No. 4513 and in Criminal Action No. 4524, the court proceeded to dispose of the charge in each case and assessed a sentence of 18 months in Criminal Action No. 4513, and a sentence of three years in Criminal Action No. 4524 to begin at the expiration of the imprisonment adjudged in Criminal Action No. 4513.

The record shows conclusively that before pronouncing the sentence in either of the cases, the court asked the petitioner if he knew of any reason why judgment should not be pronounced, and whether he desired to make any statement in mitigation of punishment or otherwise. In response to the question propounded in each case, the petitioner advised the court that he had nothing to say in mitigation of punishment or otherwise and desired that the charges be disposed of at that time.

A commitment was issued on each sentence, and the petitioner was delivered by the United States Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas to U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, on September 5, 1962.

He completed service of his sentence in Criminal Action No. 4513 on February 26, 1964, and began service of his sentence in Criminal Action No. 4524 on February 27, 1964.

The movant has tendered for filing a "Motion Pursuant to Title 28, U.S.C.A., Section 2255," based "upon the fact that the sentence is unlawful and void, since said plea of guilty was not entered `voluntarily and intelligently,'" which motion has been filed in Civil Action 879, styled as Simmons v. United States of America.

In paragraphs numbered 6, 7 and 8 of the motion, the movant stated:

    "6. What the co-joined contentions urged as
        grounds for relief and which are predicated
        upon repugnancy to the Fifth, Sixth and
        Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
        Constitution and Rule 11, Federal Rules of
        Criminal Procedure as follows:
        "(A)  That the plea of guilty was
              made and entered as a direct result
              of insanity as to the due and
              probable consequences of the
              alternative.
        "(B)  That by virtue of reasons of `A', as
              stated supra, the court lacked
              competent jurisdiction to accept the
              plea or to proceed to a final
              judgment thereon.
    "7. That the pertinent history which provides
        the foundation beneath the grounds upon
        which these proceedings are predicated are
        as follows: chronologically
        "On or about the 31st day of March, 1962,
        petitioner was arrested for violation of
        the Dyer Act.
        "Subsequent to trial upon a plea of
        guilty, petitioner was sentenced to serve one
        and one-half years imprisonment.
    "8. Petitioner alleges, declares and avers that
        his plea, judgment and sentence had and
        imposed as foresaid are repugnant to the
        Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to
        the Constitution of the United States by
        reasons of and in the following respects:
        "(A)  That petitioner was not in fact of
              law guilty of the alleged offense.
        "(B)  That petitioner had been under severe
              mental stress for several months, and
              at the time of his plea before this
              court his mental defects and
              infirmities had progressively
              worsened to a complete state of
     ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.